Health and Safety is a very important issue for all businesses, with a very wide scope. Getting it wrong can be very costly both in human terms (pain and suffering), legally (fines and possible imprisonment) and financially (direct costs and reputational damage!). As they say" if you think Safety is costly, try an accident!"
Manual Handling: "Any transporting or supporting of a load by hand or bodily force" covers an awful lot from boxes to people. Almost all business has staff involved in Manual Handling in one form or another but what is the risk to their staff and their business?
To the employee it can be the pain and suffering of a significant Musculo-Skeletal Disorders, which can affect both their working and home life. To the business it is the legal costs (including fines) of non-compliance and paying compensation to the injured part plus reputational damage to the business.
People often think this is only a risk to high hazard businesses such as in construction and manufacturing but it is often in Low hazard environments such as offices and retail that the risk can be greatest! as in heavier industries it is recognised, assessed and adequately control often with provision of mechanical handling equipment and manual handling training (required by law).
The latest Guidance on the Manual Handling Operations Regulation 1992 (L23) provides a simple and clear means of deciding what the risk are in your business and the level to which you need to risk assess this potential risk from simple filters, through HSE Tools such as MAC and RAP, to full and detailed risk assessment for more significant risk using online checklist. Our brief update to recent changes will be a good starting place to understanding the way to go.
Of course the detailed Guidance on Manual Handling Operations Regulation 1992 and other use full tools, such as MAC, vMAC and RAPP, and full risk assessment checklist are available free from excellent HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk.